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Topic: Cohutta, first time in Cohutta looking for advice< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2013, 11:43 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey all,  Headed to Cohutta for my first time this weekend.  I have heard great things but cant find as much info as I would have thought.

Looking to do a fairly laid back trip as I will be solo, its my first time there, and I will have fishing gear and wadders to carry.  Was thinking about dropping down to the Consauga river trial fairly far upstream, maybe using the Chestnut Lead trail as my access point, and setting up a base camp from which to do some fly fishing / exploring.  I know river crossings are a big factor on this trail, but its not clear to me how wide and deep the river is in the upper sections near where chestnut leads joins the Consauga river trail.

Any advice?  any one fished the area?

Thanks in advance
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2013, 12:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(dinkhound @ Feb. 06 2013, 11:43 am)
QUOTE
Hey all,  Headed to Cohutta for my first time this weekend.  I have heard great things but cant find as much info as I would have thought.

Looking to do a fairly laid back trip as I will be solo, its my first time there, and I will have fishing gear and wadders to carry.  Was thinking about dropping down to the Consauga river trial fairly far upstream, maybe using the Chestnut Lead trail as my access point, and setting up a base camp from which to do some fly fishing / exploring.  I know river crossings are a big factor on this trail, but its not clear to me how wide and deep the river is in the upper sections near where chestnut leads joins the Consauga river trail.

Any advice?  any one fished the area?

Thanks in advance

Personally I wouldn't do any of those crossings alone but that is just me.
I'd say the most important thing is to keep an eye on the weather. I've never seen rivers rise as fast as they do in the Cohuttas.
I haven't had much luck fishing there but I have heard others that have so it was probably just bad luck on my part.
Have fun.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2013, 1:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Neato.  The Conasauga is smaller than the Jacks but of course we've had a lot of rain lately and I was on Big Frog Mt during January and it rained for 8 days straight.  I was 3,000 feet above Jacks River Falls and could hear the roar clearly and it was terrifying.

If you come in on the Chestnut trail you'll have several crossings going down stream to Bray Fields but if you do the Tearbritches trail it will put you in Bray Field without a major crossing.  

You could go down Chestnut Lead and turn right and go up the Conasauga trail which I believe only has one major crossing.


Here's the Conasauga crossing at Bray Field.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2013, 3:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

hey tipi.......

(and sorry to go off the original topic).......

but i read on yer trail journal that Hooty had his car broken into down in the citico area........

do you (and i figure some other people may be interested in this information) have any more details on the break in?

i'm looking to spend a bunch of weekends down in that area in the next couple of months and just want to make sure my stuff is safe.....
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2013, 5:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Fishing will be better on the other end.  Never caught a fish upstream of Bray Field.  I would go to the downstream end of the River Trail.  When you hit the river go left following the old roadbed, not right following the trail.  Within 100 yards you'll hit one of the sweetest campsites on earth.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2013, 6:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Kevin---
Check out Hootyhoo's trip report here for more info---

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/trip-reports/topics/138315.html


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 9:24 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

dinkhound: Here is the best description of the entire Conasauga River trail. For fishing I would park at the northwestern trailhead at FS 17-B as described at the end of the hyperlinked article.

Tipi Walker: I'm doing the Hickory Creek Trail in a couple weeks from north to south. Once you get to the Conasauga River at Bray Field and head north up to Panther Creek Trail (I believe you have ford the Conasauga about 9 times to reach the trail)...have you been up to Panther Falls and the bluff? If so, is it worth the views to hike up there? Approx. how long of a hike is it from Bray Field to Panther Creek Falls?
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 10:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

while we're on the subject, i wonder if one of you guys would comment on this route idea as an one-nighter:

Upper Conasauga to Panther Creek to East Cowpen to Three Forks Mtn to road walk to Betty Gap (or the other way around depending on which trailhead's easier to get to).

i have some info saying there'd be 8-9 river fords on the Connie, so i know about that. from what i've been able to piece together, this is only 10-11 miles -- does that sound right? what about these trailheads? is Betty Gap or Three Forks easier to get to? (...coming from the Chattanooga direction) will i need a 4WD?


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 1:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ashepabst @ Feb. 07 2013, 10:27 am)
QUOTE
i have some info saying there'd be 8-9 river fords on the Connie, so i know about that. from what i've been able to piece together, this is only 10-11 miles -- does that sound right? what about these trailheads? is Betty Gap or Three Forks easier to get to? (...coming from the Chattanooga direction) will i need a 4WD?

I'm coming up with about 10.7 miles for this almost loop trail + the approx 1 mile walk back on FS 64 to your vehicle. Yes one overnighter is very doable. Keep in the mind the river crossings sometimes take much longer than you realize at times depending on high water.

Direction wise it depends on if you want to get the river crossing out of the way on the first day (park at Bettys Gap) or the second day (Park at Three Forks). Either way your climbing uphill back to either gap on the second day.

Your shouldn't need a 4x4 but at least a higher clearance vehicle would be best. 2wd would be fine unless there is snow or ice when you go.

Another Option: The best true loop to me for a single overnighter is by parking at "Dally Gap" and taking the "Jacks river trail" down camping at the river and taking "Penitentiary Branch" up to "Hemp Top" back to your vehicle at Dally Gap. Plenty of river crossings on the Jacks and a true loop with no walking FS roads. However there are over 25 fords to be made but you do get to see Jacks River Falls as well. And with that many fords on the Jacks I'd prob say take a hiking partner just to be safe actually.

13.1 mile loop total
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 3:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

thanks for your help -- i appreciate it. do you know anything about these access roads? do you know what the best route to Betty Gap would be?  i'd becoming from the west on Hwy52 from Chatsworth and it looks like there are a few different options to get to the trailhead. do you know which would route be best... as in which way would involve the least amount of rough road?

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 4:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ashepabst @ Feb. 07 2013, 3:45 pm)
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do you know what the best route to Betty Gap would be?  

This is the description in the Browns Guide link I provided above. It really is the best description. Just bring your GPS and follow these directions and take your time and you should be ok. You'll come to this turn off from Chatsworth as well...just from the other direction.

To the southeastern trailhead at Betty Gap: From the Ellijay square trav- 
el GA 52 West for 9.5 miles to the Lake Conasauga Recreation Area sign. 
Turn right onto FS 18 and continue 3.5 miles on that road before turning 
right onto FS 68. Once on FS 68, continue straight ahead, uphill. After 
traveling approximately 6.0 miles on FS 68, you will reach the three-way 
FS 68-FS 64 junction near Potato patch Mountain. Turn right onto FS 64 
and proceed 1.4 miles to the Conasauga River Trail sign and parking area.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 5:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

HikerDude73---
Hickory Creek has two sections, the short one from FS road 17, and the long one from the Rice Camp parking area.  I did the long one last year and there's one crossing of the Conasauga to get to Bray Fields.  Once in the Fields you have 1 crossing to get to Panther Branch.  There are around 5 crossings on Panther before the nutbuster climb begins.

And it is a nutbuster.



Here's the makeshift Panther Creek trailsign in Bray Fields.



Here's the real start of the Panther Creek nutbuster section as you cross the creek one last time before pulling a tough rocky hump to the top of the falls.  The second hump comes after reaching the falls and beyond all the campsites near the creek.  The trail goes up past my pack.



This pic makes the rocky climb look easy but it ain't.



Ya gotta take breaks on the Panther and here I am in the rocks at the base of the falls.  It's a rough trail.



The struggle ends, at least Part 1 of the struggle ends, when you reach this little level shelf on top of the falls and a good place to camp but there are better ones further on.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 5:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Guys, check with the ranger station about road closings.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 9:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here they are---

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/conf/news-events/?cid=STELPRDB5244599


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 8:24 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good Info Tipi!!!
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 9:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

good to know! thanks for the tips, guys.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 10:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

did you guys know that bear cannisters are now required on the AT from Jarrard Gap to Neels Gap during thru-hiker season (march to june)?  i feel like this is news to me.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5351875.pdf


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 1:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ashepabst @ Feb. 08 2013, 10:02 am)
QUOTE
did you guys know that bear cannisters are now required on the AT from Jarrard Gap to Neels Gap during thru-hiker season (march to june)?  i feel like this is news to me.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5351875.pdf

No I didn't realize it was a requirement...however I wouldn't hike anywhere in the mountains without one. My friend recently got the URSACK and really loves it. I'm thinking of getting one as well. He just hiked with a different friend a few weeks ago on Blood Mountain and his friends vinyl bag that was strung up a tree got taken by a black bear in the middle of the night. Many people do not understand how to properly suspend their food stuff either. I prefer using two lines and suspending it out away from limbs in between two trees.

But with the URSACK you can put it at shoulder level on a tree a good 50-100 yds away from your camp and it's not going anywhere & they can't break the bullet proof spectra cord and their teeth can't penetrate the composite material either.

There are "cheaper" bear canisters, but this one is takes up no room, is lightweight and is well worth the investment if you hike in Bear country frequently.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 3:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

man, i hope that new trick doesn't spread to other southern bears. i hate carrying those cannisters... they're so heavy and obtrusive. the ones we rented in Yosemite wouldn't even fit in my go-to pack.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 09 2013, 7:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My last trip to the Cohutta's was in December and the roads were in pretty good shape.  We've had almost 10 inches of rain in January so I suspect the roads might have some pot holes.

I checked my GPS logs.....it's about two miles from Bray Field to Panther Creek falls.  The last half mile or so is pretty steep and rocky....several good camp sites at the top of the falls.

As far as bear and cannisters in the Cohutta's.....the bears are hunted although the season is short.  Polk county TN had 44 bears "harvested".  Regardless of what we all think about the situation, bears in the region usually don't want to be anywhere near humans and exit the area pretty quick.  It's still a thrill for us to see them.

http://www.chattanoogan.com/2013....rs.aspx

We see bear scat from time to time but only saw one bear in Georgia last year....near Sumac Creek trail head.  A couple of years ago I did see a huge bear just north of Dally Gap.....we see more bears just north in Tennessee, but of course, that's a bear preserve.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2013, 9:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ashepabst @ Feb. 08 2013, 3:22 pm)
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man, i hope that new trick doesn't spread to other southern bears. i hate carrying those cannisters... they're so heavy and obtrusive. the ones we rented in Yosemite wouldn't even fit in my go-to pack.

That's why you need the lightweight & totally collapsible URSACK.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2013, 9:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(gunslinger @ Feb. 09 2013, 7:23 am)
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I checked my GPS logs.....it's about two miles from Bray Field to Panther Creek falls.  The last half mile or so is pretty steep and rocky....several good camp sites at the top of the falls.

Ok cool. That was my "guess" but thanks for confirming that. Was gonna try to hike up there this weekend...but with all this rain for the next few days we're getting, river crossings might be out of the question.
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